While the PS4 are hitting their one-year anniversaries, there’s life left still in the previous generation of Sony’s hardware, especially for fans of arcade re-releases. Here’s a by-no-means-complete list of great arcade games for the PS3 worth your holiday dollars.
Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (Capcom) – One of the most frantic fighting games ever conceived, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 features 56 different characters evenly pulled from the Marvel comics universe and the Capcom roster of classic games like Street Fighter II, Darkstalkers, and even Resident Evil. With online and off-line multiplayer and a useful training mode to get your competitive skill up to par, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is the kind of game that you can play for the rest of your life—or at least until PS5 comes out.
Raiden IV: Overkill (UFO Interactive) – Originally developed for Japanese arcades in 2007 by MOSS, Raiden IV: Overkill is a great modern example of the shoot-em-up genre. These games feature massive bosses, tons of projectiles to dodge, and different configurations of weapons that allow the player a large amount of customisability in tackling obstacles. The PS3 version of Raiden IV features an additional “Overkill” mode with new missions stages and an alternate scoring system.
Final Fight: Double Impact (Capcom) – Two games in one, Final Fight Double Impact provides both the classic side-scrolling beat-em-up Final Fight and the less well-known but equally-fun Magic Sword. Final Fight features three playable characters and a variety of martial arts moves as you aim to rescue the mayor’s kidnapped daughter. Magic Sword casts the player as The Brave One, climbing a dangerous tower to face the demon Drokmar. While single-player is fine for these games, they are much more enjoyable with a companion, and both games allow for online and off-line multiplayer.
The House of the Dead III (Sega) – An intense horror-influenced first-person rails shooter, House of the Dead III is arguably the best in the series with some great boss battles, creepy enemies, and a length that’s neither too short nor too long. Being a rails shooter, however, House of the Dead III should probably be avoided unless you have the PlayStation Move accessory that allows you to recreate the arcade experience. Moving a reticule around the screen with a controller just doesn’t do the trick.
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (Capcom) – This list may seem to be Capcom-heavy, but Capcom has created some truly great classic arcade games. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo was one of their lesser hits, but its addictiveness matches any fighting game or beat-em-up they developed. The premise is simple: match similar-colored blocks to form large gems and then blow them up with trigger blocks. But the fun comes from the emphasis on competition. At all times another player or computer-controlled opponent is doing the same thing, and their success means extra countdown blocks for you that spoil your plans. The most satisfying of all is when you land a huge combo and completely cover your opponent’s side with blocks, winning the game. Unfortunately, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix features no online multiplayer, but that’s hardly enough to stop from calling it “great.”